It is a scary and nerve-wracking situation when someone is pulled over by the police or, even worse, gets into an accident and finds him or herself facing charges for drunk driving. Any case involving DUI charges can have serious consequences that are life-altering for the accused. However, cases involving felony DUI charges can quickly become much more severe and may seem hopeless to the individual facing those charges. However, it is important for the accused to never lose hope and always explore the options for a strong defense.
A charge for felony DUI arises most often when the driver has a high breath-reading according to the breath test; if the accused causes serious bodily injury to another; or if the suspect causes the death of a passenger in any involved car or a driver of another involved vehicle. A blood alcohol content level of .15 or higher is considered a high breath reading. In South Carolina, the state has recently charged two men with felony DUI. The two charges stem from separate incidents.
In the first case, the man faces two counts of felony DUI for causing the death of a passenger and great bodily injury to another. The man allegedly failed to yield to traffic, crossed a highway and collided with another vehicle harming one passenger and fatally injuring another. His BAC was .23.
In the second case, that man allegedly failed to yield to traffic on the very same highway where the first accident occurred, resulting in a collision with another vehicle that harmed the other driver. The state charged the man with felony DUI resulting in great bodily harm.
A local judge sentenced both men to prison for varying amounts of time, and the men will be required to serve a certain amount of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole.
As evidenced by these two cases, it may seem hopeless for the accused to obtain an attractive outcome. However, experienced attorneys have overcome similar situations in the past. With the right strategy, some of the less punitive outcomes may include a felony being reduced to a misdemeanor, a case dismissal, the defendant being acquitted at trial or winning on appeal. Every case is different, and it is hard to know what the specific outcome may be — but there is no way to know unless those who are accused evaluate their defense options.